The Blog Azeroth shared topic for June 25 – July 1 is:
Knowing what you know now about the game, what name other than World of Warcraft would you give it? Why?
This topic is completely my fault — I suggested it. And I have no idea how to answer! I won’t make this mistake again.
I thought of the question because I’ve often felt World of Warcraft is a pretty generic name in some respects. I never played the prior Warcraft games — I can’t honestly say I even knew they existed. So the word “warcraft” didn’t have any meaning attached to it for me. Only after I started playing did I understand that World of Warcraft was actually very accurately, if not creatively, named. “World” implied the persistent, MMO aspect and “warcraft” told blizzard fans at least what the setting would be. So WoW is accurately, but generically, named. I wonder if they considered calling it Warcraft World?
I don’t play first person shooters, but I think Call of Duty is a fantastic name. It implies the style of game and also conveys a seriousness and tone that seems perfect. At least, it sets the tone game developers want — teenage gamer culture not withstanding. In fact, Call of Duty would not be a bad alternative name for WoW. Come fight honorably; “For the Horde!”; “For the Alliance”. Other games franchises I think got the name game right include Doom, Civilization, and Sim City.
What do we know now that the game designers didn’t know when they had to file trademark paperwork? By far the biggest thing we know is just how monumentally successful WoW has become. Blizzard executives may have dreamed about it, hoped for it, but I doubt they honestly predicted over 10 million subscribers. Given that perspective a name that implies enormous size, influence and market domination seems appropriate.
Enormous size, influence, market domination and honorable duty. The name also should convey that it’s a persistent MMO. Finally the name has to work from a marketing perspective — shortening nicely (like WoW) and maybe fitting into a catchy catch phrase. This is such a cop-out on my part but I’ll have to mull it over and maybe see some other people’s answers. If I think of a real answer, I’ll comment below.